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iPhone prototype is the size of an iPad

Let's jump into the time tunnel and head back to 2005, where we find this beast: an iPhone prototype the size of an iPad.

Let's jump into the time tunnel and head back to 2005, where we find this beast: an iPhone prototype the size of an iPad.

This early iPhone prototype was 5 inches wide and 7 inches tall, measuring a chunky 2 inches thick. A mystery Apple employee reveals the device in photos shown to Ars Technica.

The prototype was never designed to bear any relation to a finished design, rather it was a platform to test the technology. So we shouldn't read too much into the fact that it had a whole mess of ports: including an Ethernet port, a serial port and several USB ports, all of which were there to help developers work on the device rather than because Apple thought the finished product should have lots of sockets.

That said, the processor does show that Apple had an idea of what the chip would be like in the finalised phone: the prototype's 233MHz Samsung ARM9 chip evolved into an ARM11 chip in the model that hit shops.

When the iPhone was still just a twinkle in Steve Jobs' and Jony Ive's eyes, potential names considered include 'Telepod', 'Tripad' or 'Mobi' -- or confusingly, the 'Tripod'.

Later prototypes have also emerged, looking more like a phone but still a long way from the iPhone we know, with squared corners and small touchscreens.

Has the iPhone evolved enough over the past few years? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Ars Technica